Roland Parker Age: 40 Waves lapped softly against Roland’s boots as he stood staring out over the water. How could I have lost them? Roland stood silently on a cold, empty road, staring intently at the unopened beer in his hand as tears streamed down his weathered face. As similar thoughts rushed through his mind, Roland clawed desperately into his memories instead. Under the shade of a maple canopy, Roland sat watching the rust-colored leaves fall one by one, as if counting down to an inevitable conclusion. His wife Emily sat beside him, with her head gently on his shoulder. As beautiful as this was, the ugly hunger bubbled just below the surface - the same monster that devoured everything that Roland loved. For over a decade, Roland abused alcohol and eroded away at the trust of Emily and daughter, Alice. Roland knew that this would be the last time - for the sake of his family, it would have to be. Years went by as Roland, Emily, and Alice lived quietly and happily in their small cottage by the coast of Salem. Roland was fast approaching 40; the years were etched permanently in his skin by a hard crease that settled in his furrowed brow. This morning seemed to be just like every morning for the past 10 years, as Roland sat sipping the sea air, yet there was one subtle difference. Where are the seagulls? Every morning, Roland woke with the seabirds’ cackling, but today he was faced with an unfamiliar quiet. The silence hung heavily in the air like a fog, and somehow grew heavier still. Roland listened and waited; the hair on his neck standing up. He felt his entire body tense before he ever heard the earth-shattering explosion in the distance, as if his cells sensed what was coming before he did. Roland barreled indoors to find Emily and Alice, his heart pounding against the wall of his chest, where he found Emily with a terrified expression plastered across her face. Without speaking, they all knew what needed to happen. They had to get out of Salem. Rolands brother Andrew had his pilot's license and kept a biplane not far from Boston Harbor. Roland knew there was only one move he could make at this point. He had to get to that plane. Rushing to the car Roland took his family to the outskirts of Boston. Hoping that Andrew was alright Roland discovered an empty hanger. With his heart heavy by the empty hanger, he began to search for his brother's keys. Success! Roland ran back clutching the keys to freedom in his hands. The silence was almost refreshing as he loaded his family into the small biplane. The small family took off not knowing where to even start but a compass and a hope that with colder weather came with less infection. So, they decided to go to the only place colder than New England.....Russia. Roland was awoken by a shudder as he felt his autopilot disengage. His eyes opening long enough to catch a glimpse of the rushing water approaching his view. Then there was nothing. Roland washed up on the shore not knowing if his family was alive or dead. Not knowing where he was, he decided to head east to find someone, anyone or anything.